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How To Evolve Your SAP Security and Compliance Strategy

SAP S/4HANA is the basis of a lot of enterprise-level data storage and manipulation. For companies using the cloud-based solution for their data, whether their manufacturing records of customer relationships leads, security is always a concern. In recent years, many companies have switched over to a cloud-based system, with their security personnel slowly getting up to date with the nuances of cloud security. Businesses that went with other cloud-based solutions have demonstrated several problems with deploying a cloud security system, especially if they don’t grasp how cloud security works. Prime examples are the leaks that led to large volumes of user records leaked from several Amazon AWS systems due to the erroneous configuration of the cloud system.

It’s an interesting security flaw since the AWS system itself wasn’t affected. SAP S/4HANA works slightly differently, as the SAP data is accessed through an operating system. Malicious actors only need to gain access to the OS to wreak havoc on the company’s data. In an age of social engineering, companies cannot rely on the “tried-and-true” formula of firewalls to prevent malicious users from gaining access to data. If anything, these malicious users have so much to gain, that they could dedicate the resources to bypassing even the most stringent firewalls.

Updates and Patches are Crucial

SAP forms the backbone of more than three-quarters of the world’s enterprise-level systems. An exploit can give a hacker access to untold levels of data, not just from one company, but from any enterprise that utilizes SAP as their data storage and manipulation system. Get a feeling for how they access and use their data and what potential paths of attack a malicious user may attempt. The users are the most knowledgeable source for companies trying to learn the most efficient way to prevent security breaches.

Migration to S/4HANA

Several businesses are upgrading their on-premise SAP servers to cloud servers, and switching their systems to S/4HANA in the process. The migration carries with it a lot of details that need the company needs to sort out beforehand, and it’s easy for security to fall through the cracks. Internal audits are a critical part of identifying existing and potential threats and dealing with them proactively. Getting to know the migration team can also save time in implementing security checks since these individuals would be able to spot those weak links during production. Security is a constant arms race, and time is always of the essence. If the company can quickly respond to a threat, it saves them the fallout of cleaning up after a breach.

Ensure Patches are Up-To-Date

SAP sends out regular patches to its clients for the supported software. However, if the business fails to apply those patches, they provide easy access to hackers. SAP Solution Manager is a step in the right direction, but it has its limitations. It only works if you applied the patch before manually and then informed the system that you did so. Onapsis is another option and tests the patches before applying them, leaving you with the peace of mind that it worked with your version of SAP. You could theoretically apply every security patch to your system, but that could get quite cumbersome. SAP’s priority rating allows you to separate patches into a classification of most to least critical. This rating makes it easier to determine which ones would be more mission-critical to the business. However, the final decision rests with the security personnel. They need to make the call as to which patches are necessary to keep the security system robust and able to repel attackers successfully.

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